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Athletic Accomplishments Honored at Centennial Hall of Fame Ceremony

For the past century, athletics have played an important role at Nightingale. On Friday, September 20th—on the eve of Centennial Homecoming—the Nightingale community honored its history of athletic accomplishments with an expansion of the school’s Hall of Fame.
Back in 2011, on the occasion of her retirement as Director of Athletics, Jenny Smith was named the inaugural member of the Nightingale Athletics Hall of Fame. In commemoration of the milestone centennial year, the honor of Hall of Fame recognition was extended to six new members: Susie Heller ’69, Catharine Guiher ’77, Odette Duggan ’83, Laura Kirk ’94, Kate Dockery ’98, and Celene Menschel ’00.
The evening reception culminated with current Nightingale student-athletes detailing the athletic accomplishments of each new member of the Hall of Fame before presenting each of them with a commemorative trophy. The ceremony began with a reflection by Head of School Paul A. Burke and concluded with remarks Director of Athletics Mandy Cecil.
A summary of each honoree’s accomplishments is provided below. Congratulations to the newest members of the Nightingale Hall of Fame!

Susie Heller ’69 attended Nightingale at a time when only two sports were offered: basketball and volleyball. Miss Heller not only participated on both those teams but also served as team captain for both. Her efforts helped lead the Volleyball team to an undefeated season her senior year. In addition to her contributions out on the court, Miss Heller served as a member of the Athletic Board throughout her Upper School years, serving as head of the board during her senior year. Though opportunities for women to participate in college sports were limited, Miss Heller passion for athletics continued through equestrian sports. Upon her return to Nightingale as a member of the faculty, Miss Heller could always be found on the sidelines of games cheering for the Nighthawks, a practice she continues to this day.

Catharine Guiher ’77 dominated each of the sports in which she participated at Nightingale: volleyball, basketball, and badminton. In addition, Catharine medaled in gymnastics vaulting. During the course of her Nightingale career, she earned every Athletic Award given by the school. She served as captain of the Volleyball team and played 1 singles for badminton where she only lost on match her entire career. After Nightingale, Catharine played basketball and volleyball at the club and varsity level at Vassar College.

Odette Duggan ’83 P’19’21 was instrumental in the advancement of athletics within the school. As president of the Athletic Board, Odette held the standards of Nightingale Athletics high and helped elevate the athletics program. While volleyball was Odette’s main sport, she also played basketball, softball, and badminton, earning numerous accolades as a student athlete. Upon graduating from Nightingale, Odette participated in intramural volleyball at USC.

Laura Kirk ’94 played Basketball, soccer, and ran track and field while a student at Nightingale. She earned all-league honors for her accomplishments as a student-athlete. In addition to her contributions on the court, field, and track, Ms. Kirk also helped the Nightingale athletic program evolve. As head of the Athletic Board in her junior and senior year, she played a key role in selecting the Nighthawk as the official school mascot, and was a member of the class that designed the first Nighthawk logo. After Nightingale, Ms. Kirk attended Wesleyan University where she ran Cross Country and played Ice Hockey at the Varsity level. She returned to Nightingale as a teacher and has been a role model for all students throughout our community.

Kate Dockery ’98 has been called one of the most athletically-talented students of her time. Kate played soccer, basketball, and tennis while at Nightingale. She earned numerous all-league honors and was captain of all three teams on which she played. She led the Basketball team to two NYSAIS appearances during her time as a student-athlete. Kate attended Bates College where she played both basketball and soccer, serving as captain of both teams during her senior year.

Celene Menschel ’00 played soccer, basketball, tennis, and ran track and field while at Nightingale. She was recognized as a league all-star multiple times throughout her four years as a student-athlete. In addition, she earned the coach’s award recognition in soccer, basketball, tennis, and track. Though Celine only began running track during her senior year, she set the AAIS record for the mile run, a record she still holds today. Celene served as head of athletic board where she was instrumental in helping secure the installation of the gym’s sound system. She attended Connecticut College where she played basketball for one year and ran track for two, before transferring to Harvard where she continued to run.